“We want to improve transport options so that people living with a disability or injury are able to make it to social occasions, like having dinner or coffee with friends, not just to and from medical appointments,” said Barney Smith, Interim General Manager of icare foundation.
The events saw three pitches from community organisations in Tamworth and four in Dubbo, with enthusiastic support from residents and stakeholders in the audience.
The pitches are the result of a year long process that kicked-off with a call to Tamworth and Dubbo communities for ideas on how they could improve transport options for people living with a disability or injury.
During workshops held earlier in the year, participants developed concepts with the support of UNE's SMART Region Incubator. They also networked and joined forces to co-design a project or offer partnerships.
“Having worked on this project for the last 12 months, it was thrilling to watch these ideas develop and mature over time. I was particularly impressed with the passion, commitment and care each organisation demonstrated to be a part of a solution which aims to improve transport options for our Lifetime Care participants,” said Ashley Alburn, Project Manager Workplace Wellbeing, Community Impact.
The pitches included ideas from Uberesque apps, to utilising off-duty vehicles, car-pooling, social outings for participants and much more. Following each pitch, participants were (kindly) grilled by the icare panel, as well as eager audience members.
The icare team are now in the process of assessing applications in conjunction with the pitches, to determine who'll receive a slice of the $500,000 icare foundation funding.
“We’re looking for projects that have the potential to make a real difference in the lives of people living with a severe injury in regional NSW,” said Barney Smith, Interim General Manager, icare foundation.
“To be successful, they have to prove that they are both desirable to the users and have a viable business model behind them, ensuring that these will be real, practical solutions now and well into the future,” he added.
The funding decision is expected by early February 2019, with solutions expected to be up and running mid-2019.